Creative writing success at Duke’s.
The following students have been successful in creative writing competitions across the year. Their work has been chosen by Young Writers to be published in their collections. We are extremely proud of these students’ achievements.
Young Writers ‘Empowered’ poetry competition
Aiden McKnight
Alex Wing
Grace Walker
Lyla Richardson
Owen Rumney
Tom Common
RJ Miller
Young Writers Twisted Tales

Grace Akinsola
Rachael Lawlor
Harley Armstrong
Abigail Kairton
Adele Thomas
Amy Tucker
Callum Chisholm
Erin Leslie
Leyla-Mae Mercel
Luke Ralphs
Sam Lawson
Samuel Armstrong

Additionally, here is an example of a piece of creative writing from one of our y8s- Ellie Tumilty

War Child

This morning, I was awoken by the deafening whistle soaring past the remains of my home. There was a booming crash followed by a violent earthquake. My neighbours shrieked as my family ushered me outside.

As my brain adjusted to what I was seeing, I watched in horror as the neighbouring apartments crumbled and crashed to the floor. Fragments of glass and cement spat like fire as my mother covered me with her body.

The next time I opened my eyes, everything was gone. My eyes darted around in shock. My home was now engulfed in an endless abyss of smoke and my lungs became polluted with the gritty ash that arose from the rubble. I wheezed and coughed from the unknown chemicals that entered my lungs.

Two years ago today, my family was once whole. The memories flood back of me and my sister grazing the fields and playing football together. Those were the better times. We didn’t know how lucky we were back then. Her laughter echoes through my head. “Dinner is ready!” My mother’s loving voice rang out through the sweet, spring air. We glared at each other, before the loud roar of our laughter exploded as we ran through the fields, seeing who could return home to receive their share of dinner first.

My sister was 4 years older than me, her name was Gia. We had always been incredibly close, because of the war it only brought us closer together because we were no longer able to attend school. It was too much of a risk now, I haven’t seen any of my friends in months, but that didn’t matter, my sister was my best friend.

I was abruptly flashed back to the present by the sounds of my mother wailing. I looked around at the sudden realisation that my sister wasn’t here. She wasn’t anywhere. She was gone. I watched my father sprint back to the immense heap of what used to be my home. My eyes seamlessly followed him until his silhouette disappeared into the everlasting cloud of dust.

I couldn’t help but think back to the time when me and my family took a trip to the beach. It had been a long time since the weather was so nice. It was a treat to us, we had only been to the beach a couple of times. The radiant sun shone high in the early morning sky. I could feel the warmth of the sun on the surface of my skin. Gia and I sprinted to the water and began to have a water fight while the waves crashed around us, swaying me from side to side. My mother had packed us a picnic, knowing we would be here all day. After we ate, Gia had the bright idea to bury me in the sand, it took a while but it made my family laugh.

It felt like an eternity before my father reemerged from the clouds of smoke, he had a solemn look on his face. I instinctively looked up at my mother who had a look of devastation that overcame her. Gia wasn’t there. My sister was gone. She was my best friend.

My father finally reached us, tears streaming down his seemingly emotionless face. My mother rested her head on his shoulder and began to sob. She lent down and squeezed me so hard I could hardly breathe. I felt completely numb, I didn’t want to accept the truth that my sister was gone. I didn’t notice the waterfall of tears that were streaming down my face until my mother wiped my tears with her sleeve, she bent over me again and began to hug me. “I’m so sorry.” She whispered into my ear, her voice raw and cracking.

As I looked over my mothers shoulder, I could barely see because of the tears, I glanced around at the devastating wreckage that used to be my neighbourhood. My brain started recalling the memories of where I used to play with my sister and my friends, I felt the tears swelling up in my eyes again, I blinked them away.

My eyes rested on our favourite place where we used to play, the field. There was a single patch of grass, the only remains of what used to be the beautiful field. It had been so long since I saw any colour, the feeling was indescribable. A single poppy was blooming, it was near impossible that it survived. The beautiful poppy shone a beautiful scarlet in the sunlight, it was the only place where the clouds had parted. I instantly thought of Gia, her laugh began to echo in my head, she had sent a message from wherever she had gone to.

I felt so numb, my trembling legs began to step closer and closer. When I reached the beautiful flower, I fell onto my knees, not knowing what to feel. I just sat there, staring at this poppy. It was so small, so beautiful, most people wouldn’t pay attention to such a small detail, but it made the happy memories flood back, it was so much easier then.

After a couple of minutes of staring at this poppy, I heard my mother cry out something I couldn’t make out. I glanced up to see what was happening at the sight of an intimidating man standing on the other side of the poppy – he looked like a giant from my perspective, I noticed the colour of his uniform. He was from the enemy troops.

The man slowly crouched down to get onto my level, I was petrified, I couldn’t move. I heard my mother scream as the soldier placed a hand on my shoulder. It was then I saw his face, he gave me a sympathetic look as the rest of his troops came out, he reached in his pocket, my mother screamed again as he slowly pulled out a white flag and waved it in the air.